TransAlta extends offer for Canadian Hydro

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada 9/10/09 (PennWell) — TransAlta Corp. has extended its unsolicited offer for Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. to Sept. 22.

TransAlta, Canada’s biggest investor-owned power producer, said the extension came after the Alberta Securities Commission ordered Canadian Hydro to withdraw on September 21 its shareholder rights plan, commonly known as a poison pill.

Shareholder rights plans typically flood the market with new shares to block a hostile bidder by making an acquisition prohibitively expensive.

On July 22, 2009, TransAlta offered Canadian Hydro shareholders C$4.55 a share in cash. (HydroWorld 7/23/09)

Canadian Hydro said the shareholder rights plan will remain in effect until Sept 21 and will then be terminated “solely in relation” to the TransAlta offer. It said otherwise the plan remains in force.

Canadian Hydro said that its board continues to recommend that shareholders reject the offer because it is inadequate.

“We remain confident that we can do better for our shareholders,” Dennis Erker, Canadian Hydro’s chairman, said in a statement.

The statement said that since the end of August, a number of new qualified interested parties have come forward and signed confidentiality agreements in order to review the detailed information about the company contained in a data room opened on July 30.

It added that discussions continue to advance with several of these parties, but that “there can be no assurances a transaction will result.”

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TransAlta extends offer for Canadian Hydro

CALGARY, Alberta, Canada 8/28/09 (PennWell) — TransAlta Corp has extended its C$654 million (US$600 million) hostile bid for Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. The move comes after securities regulators refused to block its target’s poison pill.  (HydroWorld 8/27/09)

TransAlta, Canada’s biggest investor-owned power producer, extended its C$4.55 (US$4.13) per share offer to Sept. 11, as it looks to snap up Canadian Hydro’s portfolio of green hydroelectric and wind power projects.

However, the extension still doesn’t meet the terms of Canadian Hydro’s shareholder rights plan, which requires any offer to be open for 60 days.

TransAlta would have had to move the closing date of its offer to at least Sept. 21 to comply, but a company spokesman declined to say why it had decided not to align its offer with its target’s poison pill.

“Ours is the only offer on the table right now,” said Michael Lawrence, a spokesman for TransAlta. “The additional two weeks provides shareholders … ample time to asses the merits of our offer.”

TransAlta asked the Alberta Securities Commission to block the shareholder rights plan, a request the commission denied. Such plans typically flood the market with new shares if a hostile bidder seeks to take a controlling interest, making an acquisition prohibitively expensive.

Canadian Hydro has rejected TransAlta’s offer and its board is searching for a higher alternative bid.